Iowa Affirmative Action laws & HR compliance analysis

Iowa Affirmative Action: What you need to know

The state of Iowa has no affirmative action requirements for private employers. Affirmative action laws require the employer to make proactive efforts to represent individuals from certain protected classes in the workplace at levels comparable to those for unprotected groups. Affirmative action requirements are separate and distinct from nondiscrimination laws, which prohibit discriminatory acts against protected persons but do not mandate proactive steps in their favor. This section is limited to a discussion of affirmative action requirements.
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The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits employers of four or more employees from discriminating in employment with respect to age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability of such applicant or employee, unless based on the nature of the occupation (IA Code Sec. 216.6et seq.). However, the law does not require that affirmative steps be taken on behalf of any of the protected groups, according to interpretations by the Iowa courts.
State agencies must provide equal opportunity in state employment. State law requires that state agencies apply affirmative action to correct deficiencies in the state employment system, when appropriate (IA Code Sec. 19B).
All school districts, educational agencies, and community colleges are required by state law to take specific steps to accomplish goals of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action in recruitment for employment, assignment, and advancement of personnel (IA Code Sec. 19B.11et seq.).

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